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Munich Re 'on track' to reach FY'19 profit forecast, posts YOY rise in Q2 result

Munich Re reported second-quarter consolidated result attributable to equity holders of €993 million, up from €724 million a year ago.

The German reinsurer attributed the result to low major losses and reserve releases for basic losses from prior years.

EPS climbed year over year to €6.88 from €4.84. Return on equity stood at 13.6%, compared with 10.8% in the prior-year period. The group's investment result rose to €1.90 billion from €1.76 billion.

The reinsurance business posted a consolidated result of €858 million, up from €620 million in the previous year. Life and health reinsurance business generated a profit of €154 million, down 45.9% from a year ago, while property and casualty reinsurance contributed €704 million, up 110.2% from a year earlier.

The combined ratio in the P&C reinsurance division was 87.7%, compared to 102.0% in the second quarter of 2018.

The group's gross premiums written amounted to €11.80 billion, up from the year-ago €11.19 billion. Net earned premiums also rose on a yearly basis, to €11.85 billion from €10.96 billion.

Net expenses for claims and benefits reached €8.99 billion, compared to €8.88 billion a year earlier.

Total expenditure for major losses in excess of €10 million fell year over year to €202 million from €605 million in the second quarter, and rose to €680 million from €667 million for the first half. These figures include run-off profits and losses for major claims from previous years, including additional expenditure of around €80 million for losses from Typhoon Jebi.

Major-loss expenditure was equivalent to 4.1% of net earned premium for the second quarter, versus 13.3% in the year-ago period. In the first half, major-loss expenditure was 6.9% of net earned premium, versus 7.5% in the prior-year period.

The company said the risk-adjusted price increase for the entire July renewals, excluding price increases that were offset by higher claims expectations, was 0.5%. Premium volume was up by 8.9% to €3.5 billion.

Meanwhile, unit ERGO Group AG generated a consolidated result of €135 million, up from €108 million.

Munich Re's solvency ratio was approximately 245% at the end of the second quarter, versus 244% at the beginning of 2019.

For the first half, Munich Re's attributable consolidated result rose on a yearly basis to €1.63 billion from €1.55 billion.

The company said it repurchased a total of 1.9 million shares worth €400 million in the first half, as part of its share buyback program.

Joachim Wenning, chairman of the management board, said Munich Re is "strategically and financially on track" to reach its profit guidance of €2.5 billion for 2019 and €2.8 billion for 2020, as set out in the company's multiyear ambition for 2018-2020.